FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about the BA Degree Programme in Sinology

1. What qualifications do I need to enrol for the BA programme in Sinology?

The study programme consists of two roughly equal parts, i.e. Chinese language courses and courses on Chinese literature, linguistics, history, and philosophy. The courses are in German, but much of the literature is in English. This means that a natural talent for languages is very important. High grades in English and above-average grades in French and/or Latin at school will stand you in good stead.

You should also be seriously interested in literature and history. The courses are not only about Chinese literature, philosophy, and history but also about the theories and methodological approaches applied in these disciplines. Each semester students are required to prepare assignments and hold presentations. An excellent command of both written and spoken German is therefore essential.

2. How much work does the programme involve?

Definitely more than in other humanistic disciplines. (The workload is similar to that of a physics or medical student.) Language acquisition is extremely time-consuming, especially in the first two years. Students must expect a weekly workload of between 40 and 50 hours (including a second subject and an elective course). In our experience you can’t do a part-time job as well.

3. What combination of subjects makes sense?

It makes a lot of sense to combine Sinology with another liberal arts / humanistic subject. We would recommend General and comparative literature, German studies, other philological subjects (Slavic studies, Romance studies, Oriental studies, English studies), History, Philosophy or Linguistics.

4. Can I combine two East Asian subjects?

It is possible in principle to combine Sinology with Japanese studies or Korean studies, but the language lessons often overlap and the workload is so heavy that two languages can’t ordinarily be learned simultaneously. However, in some cases it may be considered feasible.

5. What can I do with it?

It’s up to the individual! There is no specific career profile, but Sinology graduates are anything but hopeless cases on the job market: Anyone who has successfully completed this challenging programme of study and who has acquired experience abroad is regarded by many companies as having above-average determination and commitment.

6. Do I have to go abroad?

It makes sense, yes! Talk to us about the various opportunities for attending a language course or studying for a term in China. One of these is, e.g., the summer language course at Tongji University, our partner university in Shanghai.

7. Can I enrol in the Summer Term?

Yes – although the language courses start in Fall Term. However, you can begin with courses in Chinese literature and history in the Summer Term.